For those playing along, you’re up to speed on my month-end installment of the feature I did for the now defunct Paved Magazine. For those who aren’t, click on that link up there and you soon will be.
Photo by David Reddick.
I slowly walked out of the emergency veterinary office after visiting my four legged companion for what might be the final time and was immediately overcome with a torrid of thoughts rushing through my head about the complexity of heartbreak. The tears were still wet on my face when I swung my elastic band around on my wrist and flipped the attached key into my hand. Inserting it into the lock’s barrel, I released that which has led to my own salvation thousands of times before. I slowly and reluctantly rolled away, choking back another wave of emotion and pointed my bike in the direction of anywhere but there.
As the road opens up before me, and my legs began to turn in circles, again I reflect on life, and love and the dedication to another being. “The hurt is almost enough” I began to think- “… almost enough to make me want to live my life as an island.” The wind fills my ears and the world turns into a passing blur, allowing the absurdity of that observation to be made clear. That is the cruel irony of giving your heart to another.
The fact that as human beings, we thrive on giving and receiving love, yet ultimately we will all be dealt the crushing blow when facing the reality of those to whom we have committed that love are not impervious to life’s cycle.
The mechanics of my bike’s drive train moves to the forefront of my consciousness as I shift down through the gears and continue to pick up speed. Though my thoughts are with this little being who has been my compatriot for a decade, the brake hoods in my hands and the pedals attached to my feet deliver me from a place of somber reflection to one of solace.
I breathe deeper and pick up speed. The faster I go, the lighter the weight on my shoulders becomes. Despite the fact that when this ride is over I will have to face reality again, there is something about the magic of movement that makes this situation, at least for the moment, somehow almost seem bearable.
My bike has delivered me from despair on more occasions than I can stand to remember, though conversely transported me to pleasures I don’t dare forget. It has given me strength in times when I had none and with every high and low that life will ultimately deliver, it’s provided me the tools with which to handle it with strength.